India have taken a silent step forward

India, Aug. 5 -- India completed a resounding series victory and maintained total domination over Sri Lanka. The batting might of the Indians was in full bloom in favourable sub-continent conditions and the Lankans had no answer to it. Sri Lanka will have to sort out their bowling quickly as it has been average except for Lasith Malinga. The one bright spot though has been Nuwan Pradeep. He has the pace and will need to be handled carefully. I feel happy for Manoj Tiwary. Whatever chances he has got, Manoj has shown that mentally he is qualified to be a part at the international level. I feel sad that he has got his chances in the national team as a replacement.

He should, from now on, be considered as a regular in the national side, not only for ODIs, but all forms of the game. The biggest thing at this level is not only about the number of runs you score or the wickets you take. It's about mental adaptation to any situation, and Manoj has shown it.

The find for India in this series have been Irfan Pathan and Ashok Dinda. I have not seen Irfan bowl so well since his debut series in Australia and Pakistan. The rhythm is back, the ball is swinging and he seemed to be the Irfan of old days. His batting success at No 7 has also added strength to the side and he has become an important cog once again.

Dinda is large-hearted, fit, has pace and the ability to run in all day. At the international level, one has to be sharp to adjust to situations and Dinda is always eager to do so. Given a long run in every form of the game, Dinda will be handy to Dhoni's plans.

The series was not in the limelight because of the Olympics but one has to say that Indian cricket has silently taken a step forward. It will be a huge confidence booster for the team before they start their long season. India will play the lone T20 against Sri Lanka at the same venue and I hope they finish it off in style.

The writer is a former India captain (360 Corporate Relations)

Published by HT Syndication with permission from Hindustan Times.


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